Dumpster diving

“Communism to me is one-third practice and two-thirds explanation.” – Will Rogers

I read the eight thousand words 42nd anniversary message of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines just for the hell of it. Hell is an apt description for the experience of laboring through the annual pastoral letter from the native communist party hierarchy, that perennial pathetic reaffirmation of faith in Marxist economics, Leninist politics, and Maoist armed struggle.

“Don’t you have better things to do other than dumpster diving?” asked my bourgiosecapitalistfeudalimperialistpuppet friend.

“Not everything discarded is trash,” I replied.

“Did you find anything useful?” he asked.

“I discovered a couple of gems: waste-basketting and continuing condonement.”


“Waste-basketting” as in “the waste-basketting by the Arroyo-dominated Supreme Court of the so-called Truth Commission,” and “continuing condonement” as in “as well as by the continuing condonement not only of the Arroyo regime’s human rights violations but also those of the current regime itself,” I explained.

“The current regime…” he mused ignoring the new additions to my vocabulary. “But didn’t Aquino drop the charges against Morong 43?”

“Yes, but the native communists said it was only because of intense pressure from human rights group here and abroad.”

“But that shows the Aquino administration listens,” he said.

“The communists said it’s just a ploy.”

I quoted the relevant passage from the anniversary message, “By all indications, the Aquino regime is hellbent on using the slogan of human rights in order to continue the gross and systematic human rights violations. It is obviously going to use the peace negotiations with the NDFP and the MILF as an occasional propaganda device and to block the demands of the people for basic social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the armed conflict and lay the basis for a just and lasting peace. So far, most important to the Aquino regime is beefing up the military, police and paramilitary forces and unleashing them against the people and the revolutionary forces.”

“Wow, that’s a mouthful!” he exclaimed. “Aren’t peace talks scheduled soon?”

“The communists think that’s also a ploy. Besides, they aren’t settling for anything less than the transformation of the country into a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist paradise.”

“How’s that?”

I read from the message again, “The US-Aquino regime intends to use the peace negotiations with the NDFP as an instrument for deceiving the people and pressuring the NDFP towards capitulation. It is scheming to junk the peace negotiations when these cannot be bent towards the counterrevolutionary objectives of the regime. The revolutionary forces and the people are aware of these objectives and thus, even if they push for whatever can be achieved through peace talks, they harbor no illusions that revolutionary objectives could be achieved through these alone or in the main. They are fully aware that their patriotic and democratic aspirations can only be effectively pushed in peace negotiations alongside the primacy of people’s war and mass struggles.”

“So the peace talks are a waste of time,” he concluded. “The communists talk peace but they wage war.”

I continued reading, to rile my friend some more.

“Benigno Aquino III has emerged as the chief representative of the exploiting classes, having drawn the biggest amount of campaign funds from them, enjoyed the support of the media lords, run the most guileful propaganda campaign and benefited from the manipulation of the US-controlled automated voting system. Thus, he is hellbent on continuing the US-dictated policies of neoliberal globalization, the preservation of the neocolonial fascist state and support for the global war of terror.”

“There’s really no point talking to them. They don’t even believe Aquino is his own man, they just called him a puppet of the US.”

“No, I think talking to them is an excellent idea.”

“What? Why?”

“Because we might pick up a couple of new words.”

Aquino hard-put to fill 5,000 top gov't posts

Aquino hard-put to fill 5,000 top gov’t posts
By Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Research, Inquirer Central Luzon
Philippine Daily Inquirer

APPOINTMENTS TO GOVERNMENT POSITIONS are not being made fast enough because President Aquino is hard put to find “good people” to take on public service.

Speaking with reporters at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, the President said he was giving priority to certain government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) as well as government financial institutions because of “a sense of urgency as we discover that there are transactions that are still being attempted to be pushed through.”

He said an obstacle that his administration was facing in filling up critical positions was “the difficulty of finding good people.”

As many as 4,301 executive and management appointees, as well as over 50,000 rank-and-file employees, were coterminous with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Mr. Aquino has been swamped with applications from persons wishing to join his administration since a month before he was sworn into office.

“We have to find people who will work on our platform and not continue the age-old and wrong platforms,” said Mr. Aquino, whose campaign battle cry was “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap (No corruption, no poverty).”

“The problem is, it’s no joke to enter government service. Your salary will go down, while criticisms will multiply. It’s difficult to convince good people to fill up these positions,” he said.

A Commission on Audit report puts the number of GOCCs at 601.

So far, Mr. Aquino has appointed Daniel “Bitay” Lacson and Cristino “Bong” Naguiat as chairs of the Government Service Insurance System and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., respectively, and Jose Honrado as chief of the Manila International Airport Authority.

Among the other GOCCs are the Bases Conversion Development Authority, Clark Development Corp., Cultural Center of the Philippines, Home Development Mutual Fund, John Jay Management Corp., Laguna Lake Development Authority, Land Bank of the Philippines, Light Railway Transit Authority, Lung Center of the Philippines, Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System, National Electrification Administration, Philippine Ports Authority and Social Security System.

The President was in Subic, Zambales, on Friday to inaugurate the Philippine National Police’s School for Values and Leadership.

He said there would yet be no changes in the top positions of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), including its board of directors.

“We have not reached the SBMA yet. In truth, I’d like to repeat, there are something close to 5,000 positions [to fill up]. And I have to appoint people up to director level,” he said.

However, Mr. Aquino said he had found someone to take the helm of the Metro Manila Development Authority. But he refused to divulge the appointee’s identity.

Asked to comment on Mr. Aquino’s remarks, SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said: “Well, we hope that the President allows us to finish our term. But of course we serve at his pleasure. If the President [wants a change in the SBMA leadership], of course we will accede to his request.”

Dick Gordon

Arreza’s term as administrator, like that of SBMA Chair Feliciano Salonga, began on Sept. 23, 2005, and ends on the same date in 2011.

Asked Saturday by text message if he was considering appointing to the SBMA ex-Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon, one of his defeated rivals to the presidency, Mr. Aquino replied: “Haven’t gotten to it yet.”

Gordon said at a press briefing early in June that he was not selling himself to Mr. Aquino in the hope of getting an appointment.

“I love my country,” he said. “If I can be of assistance, why not? But I will not lobby aggressively. I did not lobby for any position with [then President Arroyo].”

Gordon, who served as tourism secretary in the early years of the Arroyo administration, is covered by the yearlong ban on appointments of defeated candidates in the elections.

When pressed to name a post he would like, Gordon, a native of Zambales, said: “If I am given a chance, I would prefer the SBMA. If Noynoy (Aquino’s nickname) feels I can be of service, fine, I’d think about it. I’d be honored to be given the chance, but I will not lobby for it.”

Gordon is credited with transforming the former US naval base in Subic into a free port and investment hub. With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.